Tendai Rupapa Senior Court Reporter—
RMG Independent End Time Message church leader Martin Gumbura was feared so much that even his 11 wives would write individual letters to him applying for permission to sit in the lounge and watch television, the court heard yesterday. The revelation was made as the trial of Gumbura, who is accused of raping seven women from his church, came to an end, with magistrate Mr Hoseah Mujaya setting January 8 as the judgment day.
Gumbura stunned the court when he said that he did not use protection when sleeping with his wives and “girlfriends”, adding that he had unprotected sex with some of his victims.
He said there was no need to use protection because he would have taken them for HIV tests.
The prosecutor Mr Jonathan Murombedzi produced a letter written by one of the accused’s wives in which she was asking for permission to watch television.
The letter had a part which read: “May we please now go back to the brown lounge to watch television”.
“Accused person, I put it to you that you are feared in your church to an extent that even your wives at home are also afraid of you,” said Mr Murombedzi.
“Mr Gumbura, how can a wife in your house apply to sit in the lounge to watch television? If these wives could fear you to such an extent, what about those vulnerable orphans you sexually abused. You made them succumb to any of your abuses.”
Gumbura, who is studying towards a degree in Theology, said he set the rule as a disciplinary measure.
“What is wrong with a father who is the head of the house to set rules in his house?
“I cannot allow them to watch television up to midnight, hence the need to set rules on when and what time the TV should be watched.
“Also, one other thing, I don’t encourage them to watch television channels always, they should also take time to watch my videos in which I would be ministering in church.”
Gumbura said his family was happy with the arrangement, adding that all his wives, including his last one who is 23-years-old loved him.
He said if the wives were not happy with the arrangement, they should have left the house the day he was committed to remand prison.
But Mr Murombedzi said: “This shows how ruthless you are, they do not love you, it is because they are indoctrinated and brainwashed”.
Asked on the criteria he used when choosing a wife, Gumbura said that whenever he saw a girl, he loved in church he would propose to her before promising to marry her.
He said he would stay with that woman as husband and wife and would only pay bride price for her after conceiving.
Gumbura said he had not paid lobola for four of his wives.
He said he was not a womaniser, but a polygamist, adding that he had so much respect for women.
This was after Mr Murombedzi accused Gumbura of “using” women and later dumping them.
Gumbura alleged the feud with Pastor Godwin Chitsinde started when they discovered his (Chitsinde’s) ill repute which included deflowering girls using his fingers and abusing elderly women by fondling them.
Pastor Chitsinde of Spoken Word Ministries testified against Gumbura during the trial and implied that they were once buddies.
He defended his doctrine of committing people in the hands of the devil, saying that he was guided by a biblical chapter — 1 Corinthians Chapter 5.
Gumbura said it was a pure church doctrine practised even by Pastor Chitsinde whom he said also committed him in the hands of Satan when he started preaching polygamy.